January 26 “SibShop” for Siblings of Children with Special Needs in Harford County

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Registration Deadline Jan. 18

Siblings of children with special
needs have special needs themselves. To help families address these needs, the
Harford County Office of Disability Services, under the administration of
County Executive Barry Glassman, will offer a “SibShop” from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
on Saturday, January 26 at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Bel Air.

SibShop is a national program under
The Sibling Support Project that brings together children ages 6-12 who have a
brother or sister with a serious illness, unique health concern, or
developmental need. Children at a SibShop play high-energy games in a safe and
fun environment, and talk about the joys and challenges of having a sibling
with special needs.

Specially trained staff from Mt.
Washington Pediatric Hospital will facilitate the program in Harford County.
Registration is $10, which includes a snack. The registration deadline is
Friday, January 18, 2019 and spots are limited.

Children who have special-needs
siblings often develop many wonderful qualities including patience, compassion,
dependability, and acceptance of differences. They may also have conflicting
feelings or difficulty coping. They may feel anxiety, guilt, jealousy, fear, or
pressure to do what their sibling cannot do. Meeting and talking with their
peers can be very beneficial.

“While every sibling and family is
different, siblings of children with special health care needs can struggle
with feeling understood,” said Rachel Harbin, coordinator of the Harford County
Office of Disability Services. “We want to offer them a place to express
themselves, develop peer support systems, and, most importantly, to feel
special.”

To register for the Harford County
SibShop, contact Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital at sibshops@mwph.org  or 410-578-5169.  The snow date is
Saturday, February 2, 2019.

For
more information, or to learn about other programs available to individuals
with disabilities and their families, please contact Rachel Harbin, coordinator
for the Harford County Office of Disability Services at 410.638.3389 or raharbin@harfordcountymd.gov.

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